THREE bereaved fathers who set out to achieve something positive following the tragic suicides of their daughters have announced a third national charity walk.

The 3 Dads Walking, who include Andy Airey who lives near Penrith, have already raised more than a million pounds for the North West-based charity PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide, have become national heroes for raising awareness and helping to save young lives.

Andy Airey, Mike Palmer from Greater Manchester and Tim Owen from Norfolk completed their first challenge in 2021 by walking 300-miles.

A year later they doubled that distance by trekking 600-miles, walking between the parliaments of all four nations from Northern Ireland through Scotland, Wales and England.

Now they plan to trek a further 500 miles in April and May of this year, covering new ground by walking from Scotland through the eastern counties of England.

On route they will visit some of the newly opened, or soon to open, PAPYRUS offices and hubs in Stirling, Newcastle, Leeds, Hull and Norwich. 

Andy Airey, who lost his 29-year-old daughter Sophie to suicide in 2018, said: “This walk is about refocussing our fundraising efforts to help PAPYRUS achieve its goals and extend the lifesaving work the charity does.

News and Star: Sophie AireySophie Airey (Image: Supplied)“Along the way we will talk to loads of people, some of whom will be new to the charity, we will raise funds to help PAPYRUS open more offices, train more people and ultimately stop preventable suicides.

"Together we can save lives.”

In 2022 the 3 Dads Walking attracted more than 100,000 signatures for an online petition to have suicide prevention included on the school curriculum, prompting a debate in the House of Commons.

Shortly afterwards the dads received a national Pride of Britain Award.

The 3 Dads Walking have worked with Penrith and the Border MP, Dr Neil Hudson MP who helped to facilitate a meeting with Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak. 

Ged Flynn, chief executive of PAPYRUS, which has its headquarters in Warrington, said: “The 3 Dads Walking have already captured the nation’s hearts, after all what could be more important than the wellbeing of our children and saving young lives?

“Andy, Mike and Tim are ordinary dads who will be continuing their extraordinary mission to raise awareness and spread hope, helping to start vital conversations about suicide that too many families feel unable or unwilling to have.

“In their efforts to raise much-needed funds for our charity, the dads have already enabled us to grow and 2024 will see PAPYRUS further extend its work into the heart of many communities across the UK.”